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Irvine, CA, United States

He Y.,Chongqing Medical University | He Y.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Correa A.M.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Raso M.G.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | And 9 more authors.

Background: In this study, we investigated whether PKR protein expression is correlated with mRNA levels and also evaluated molecular biomarkers that are associated with PKR, such as phosphorylated PKR (p-PKR) and phosphorylated eIF2α (p-eIF2α). Methodology and Findings: We determined the levels of PKR protein expression and mRNA in 36 fresh primary lung tumor tissues by using Western blot analysis and real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR), respectively. We used tissue microarrays for immunohistochemical evaluation of the expression of p-PKR and p-eIF2α proteins. We demonstrated that PKR mRNA levels are significantly correlated with PKR protein levels (Spearman's rho = 0.55, p<0.001), suggesting that PKR protein levels in tumor samples are regulated by PKR mRNA. We also observed that the patients with high p-PKR or p-eIF2α expression had a significantly longer median survival than those with little or no p-PKR or p-eIF2α expression (p = 0.03 and p = 0.032, respectively). We further evaluated the prognostic effect of combined expression of p-PKR plus PKR and p-eIF2α plus PKR and found that both combinations were strong independent prognostic markers for overall patient survival on stage I and all stage patients. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that PKR protein expression may controlled by transcription level. Combined expression levels of PKR and p-PKR or p-eIF2α can be new markers for predicting the prognosis of patients with NSCLC. Source

Zhou Y.,Sun Yat Sen University | Zhou Y.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Hofstetter W.L.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | He Y.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | And 8 more authors.
Cancer Biology and Therapy

Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) functions as a tumor suppressor in some cancers, but its molecular mechanism is not clear. Our recent study also showed that the expression of KLF4 is dramatically reduced in primary lung cancer tissues. To investigate the possible role of KLF4 in lung cancer, we stably transfected KLF4 into cells from lung cancer cell lines H322 and A549 to determine the cells' invasion ability. Our results showed that ectopic expression of KLF4 extensively suppressed lung cancer cell invasion in Matrigel. This effect was independent of KLF4-mediated p21 upregulation because ectopic expression of p21 had minimal effect on cell invasion. Our analysis of the expression of 12 genes associated with cell invasion in parental, vector-transfected and KLF4-transfected cells showed that ectopic expression of KLF4 resulted in extensively repressed expression of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), an extracellular matrix protein that plays a role in tumor development and metastasis. Knockdown of SPARC expression in H322 and A549 cells led to suppression of cell invasion, comparable to that observed in KLF4-transfected cells. Moreover, retrovirus-mediated restoration of SPARC expression in KLF4-transfected cells abrogated KLF4-induced anti-invasion activity. Together, our results indicate that KLF4 inhibits lung cancer cell invasion by suppressing SPARC gene expression. © 2010 Landes Bioscience. Source

Zhou Y.-H.,University of California at Irvine | Hess K.R.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Raj V.R.,University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences | Yu L.,Ziren Research LLC | And 3 more authors.
Biomarker Insights

Background: Prognosis models established using multiple molecular markers in cancer along with clinical variables should enable prediction of natural disease progression and residual risk faced by patients. In this study, multivariate Cox proportional hazards analyses were done based on overall survival (OS) of 100 glioblastoma multiformes (GBMs, 92 events), 49 anaplastic astrocytomas (AAs, 33 events), 45 gliomas with oligodendroglial features, including anaplastic oligodendroglioma (AO, 13 events) and oligodendraglioma (O, 9 events). The modeling included two clinical variables (patient age and recurrence at the time of sample collection) and the expression variables of 13 genes selected based on their proven biological and/or prognosis functions in gliomas (ABCG2, BMI1, MELK, MSI1, PROM1, CDK4, EGFR, MMP2, VEGFA, PAX6, PTEN, RPS9, and IGFBP2). Gene expression data was a log-transformed ratio of marker and reference (ACTB) mRNA levels quantified using absolute real-time qRT-PCR. Results: Age is positively associated with overall grade (4 for GBM, 3 for AA, 2_1 for AO_O), but lacks significant prognostic value in each grade. Recurrence is an unfavorable prognostic factor for AA, but lacks significant prognostic values for GBM and AO_O. Uni-variate models revealed opposing prognostic effects of ABCG2, MELK, BMI1, PROM1, IGFBP2, PAX6, RPS9, and MSI1 expressions for astrocytic (GBM and AA) and oligodendroglial tumors (AO_O). Multivariate models revealed independent prognostic values for the expressions of MSI1 (unfavorable) in GBM, CDK4 (unfavorable) and MMP2 (favorable) in AA, while IGFBP2 and MELK (unfavorable) in AO_O. With all 13 genes and 2 clinical variables, the model R2 was 14.2% (P = 0.358) for GBM, 45.2% (P = 0.029) for AA, and 62.2% (P = 0.008) for AO_O. Conclusion: The study signifies the challenge in establishing a significant prognosis model for GBM. Our success in establishing prognosis models for AA and AO_O was largely based on identification of a set of genes with independent prognostic values and application of standardized gene expression quantification to allow formation of a large cohort in analysis. © the author(s), publisher and licensee Libertas Academica Ltd. Source

Hu Y.,University of California at Irvine | Gao H.,Tongji University | Gao H.,National Engineering Center for Biochip at Shanghai | Vo C.,University of California at Irvine | And 8 more authors.

EGFR is one of the key oncogenes subjected to targeted therapy for several cancers, as it is known to be amplified and/or mutated in up to 40% of malignant gliomas. EFEMP1, a fibulin-like extracellular protein, exerts both tumor suppressive and oncogenic effects in various cancers and glioma cell models. Although EFEMP1's anti-cancer activity has most commonly been attributed to its anti-angiogenic effects, we showed for gliomas that EFEMP1's binding to EGFR accounts for its suppression of the intracranial tumorigenicity of glioma cells expressing high levels of EGFR. In gliomas where EFEMP1 expression, and thus the anti-EGFR effect of EFEMP1, was suppressed, heightened levels of EGFR expression were associated with unfavorable patient outcomes in prognostic models. Results from the current study clearly demonstrate the impact that the anti-EGFR function of EFEMP1 has on the expression of EGFR and patient prognosis. A glioma prognostic model also suggests EFEMP1's context-dependent oncogenic function in gliomas expressing low levels of EGFR. Hence the level of EFEMP1 expression may have a predictive value for choosing patients for anti-EGFR therapy. Source

Hu Y.,University of California at Irvine | Ke C.,University of California at Irvine | Ke C.,Sun Yat Sen University | Ru N.,University of California at Irvine | And 6 more authors.

Conflicting functions of EFEMP1 in cancer have been reported. Using two syngeneic glioma cell lines (U251 and U251-NS) carrying two different principal cell subpopulations that express high or low EGFR, and that are able to interconvert via mis-segregation of chromosome 7 (Chr7), we studied EFEMP1's cell-context-dependent functions in regulating subpopulation equilibrium, here defined by the percentage of cells carrying different copies of Chr7. We found that EFEMP1 attenuated levels of EGFR and cellular respiration in high-EGFR-expressing cells, but increased levels of NOTCH1, MMP2, cell invasiveness, and both oxidative phosphorylation and glycolytic respiration in low-EGFR-expressing cells. Consistently, EFEMP1 suppressed intracranial xenograft formation in U251 and promoted its formation in U251-NS. Interestingly, subpopulation equilibria in xenografts of U251-NS without EFEMP1 overexpression were responsive to inoculum size (1, 10 and 100 thousand cells), which may change the tumor-onset environment. It was not observed in xenografts of U251-NS with EFEMP1 overexpression. The anti-EGFR function of EFEMP1 suppressed acceleration of growth of U251-NS, but not the subpopulation equilibrium, when serially passed under a different (serum-containing adherent) culture condition. Overall, the data suggest that the orthotopic environment of the brain tumor supports EFEMP1 in carrying out both its anti-EGFR and pro-invasive/cancer stem cell-transforming functions in the two glioma cell subpopulations during formation of a single tumor, where EFEMP1 stabilizes the subpopulation equilibrium in response to alterations of the growth environment. This finding implies that EFEMP1 may restrain cancer plasticity in coping with ever-changing tumor microenvironments and/or therapeutic-intervention stresses. Source

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